All these cross-platform mobile app development tools such as Xamarin and PhoneGap can assist you in building engaging hybrid apps in no time for both iOS and Android.

It is no secret that the mobile app industry today is brewing at a super quick pace. As a result, all businesses are coming up with their own customized apps in order to retain mobile customers. Regardless of the type and size, apps today run efficiently according to the needs of the users and with suitable performance. The key reason when it comes to this incredible performance of mobile apps is the use of the right mobile app development tools. 

In this regard, the amalgamation of the right tools in the creation stage results in a resourceful mobile app. Moreover, there exist a number of applications that help in developing a tool/platform for the effective creation of exclusive mobile apps. In addition to that, these tools also assist in the creation of out-of-the-box apps that comprise hundreds of existing templates in order to run the apps as quickly as possible. In the same vein, there exist several advanced app building platforms which assist in developing apps without having to depend on customer investment or investors. Therefore, in such a scenario, choosing the right platform is paramount for building a mobile app.     

Have you been thinking about coding your idea successfully? Although many want it, few succeed in this endeavor. This could be attributed to several factors that ensure the success of a mobile app strategy. One such factor that entrepreneurs rarely pay attention to is the kind of app development tool they will use. The quality and diversity of the APIs and plugin libraries as well as other integration and compatibility aspects also play a massive role in the decision.    

With device and platform diversity ruling the entire mobile landscape, it is no secret that cross-platform app development is super popular today and has emerged to be a commercially viable option. In addition to that, as opposed to native app development, a cross-platform tool only needs a single code composition to target multiple devices or platforms. Therefore, it helps you contain the overall cost of technological investment as well as any hassles that are involved in managing and updating the portfolio of apps in the business.       

It is a known fact that mobile apps significantly ease the users’ working life. In present times, there are a number of apps at the disposal of users from accessing emails to online banking and booking flight tickets. All this is possible only because of mobile app development tools that help in designing apps for a particular purpose.     

Experts even believe in the early validation and prototyping of the app prior to starting the creation of an app. In this regard, it is highly recommended for businesses to sketch an idea of an app on a piece of paper and continue doing it until your target audience is sufficiently influenced. Therefore, practicing your prototype on paper can save you hours of development at a later stage. Also, if you set clear goals right from the start for your app, it can help you pursue an idea from functioning prototype to the idea that might end up saving you a lot of time and money.   

Having established all this, let us now check out the top 10 mobile app development tools!

PhoneGap Or Apache Cordova

 

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Apache Cordova, previously known as PhoneGap is an open-source tool consisting of a debugger, compiler as well as testing tools that come with popular web technologies such as CSS3, JavaScript and HTML5. A lot of people ask if Is PhoneGap equal to Cordova? Here is the link to a very good article that answers this question.

There are several myths regarding this tool, one of which says that it is suitable only for building simple apps. Another myth says that the apps made with this tool do not make a lot of use of the capabilities of the device. However, these myths have been adequately debunked recently with the advent of an array of plugins such as Media Recorder Plugin, Capture Plugin, Push Plugin, etc. In addition to that, a PhoneGap-based app called CP Jobsite even allows the supervisors of painting service providers to stay connected with all their dispersed workforces. Moreover, users can also assess the work progress through the camera of the device and then send it to their supervisors. Also, instant messaging allows for the frequent sharing of updates. 

Pros

  1. It has an architecture that is plugin-able to assist developers in creating featured apps using the capabilities of the device through APIs.
  2. Web technologies such as CSS3, JavaScript, and HTML5 are the core of PhoneGap. Therefore, developers can use their existing skills fully. 
  3. It also supports in-app purchases for iOS on the App Store and Android on the Google Play Store. 
  4. Code reusability across Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, etc. allows businesses and developers to reduce the overall TTM or Time-To-Market.

Cons

Users might experience performance issues with graphic-intensive apps. That said, by implementing various third-party solutions in order to enhance graphic and caching acceleration, it is possible for developers to overcome this challenge potentially. But with OEMs introducing better technical specifications, you do not need to be too worried on this front.   

Appcelerator

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This tool can be used by cross-platform developers to build, connect, test as well as to measure the functionality and performance of the built app. This tool favors JavaScript programming. In addition to that, the universal code concept also applies to this tool. It makes it easy for developers to implement a one-code base across several platforms such as Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows to speed up the entire process of product development as well as delivery. 

Pros

  1. It has a schema-less data store known as ArrowDB that allows you to deploy distinct data models with no setup effort. 
  2. It is equipped with several pre-built connectors that are available for MS SQL, MS Azure, MongoDB, Salesforce, Box, etc. 
  3. It is apt for rapid application development. Moreover, developers can easily build a prototype using this tool quickly and easily to evaluate the overall user interaction of the app with the UI.
  4. It also facilitates a seamless integration to the existing continuous delivery systems such as MDM and SCM solutions.

Cons

This tool is a bit laggy and buggy, although its newer version is definitely more stable. There have also been some user complaints regarding poor support/help from the developer community of the app. 

Xamarin

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This tool allows for the C# codebase to be applied universally to several platforms. That said, as opposed to other frameworks, Xamarin allows developers to also work with native APIs, IDEs, and languages. Furthermore, Git integration is also directly built into the Xamarin Studio, which is another plus point.

Pros

  1. The tool supports quality monitoring and functionality testing across an array of devices. It also its Android emulator.
  2. It comes with a few sample apps to assist you in getting started easily and quickly.
  3. You can share nearly three-fourths of the code across all the major mobile platforms. Therefore, with this tool, developers can curtail the development cost as well as the overall TTM.     

Cons

Some open-source libraries for iOS and Android have compatibility issues, which is a bit of a hurdle in building a full-fledged, functional app. The developer community must address this problem to encourage developing a substantial project with this tool.

If you want to explore developing the mobile app using Xamarin Native, contact WBPRO Xamarin Experts

 

Sencha Ext JS

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In case you have been on the lookout for creating cross-platform apps that are data-intensive or that have the ability to leverage hardware acceleration techniques, Sencha Ext JS is definitely the perfect framework to choose. This tool has a robust data package that supports interaction with a wide range of back-end data sources as well as 115+ pre-tested, integrated and high-performance UI components such as grids, calendars, charts, etc. In addition to that, the framework of this tool also unleashes the scope of HTML5 on several modern browsers. Sencha Ext JS also introduces Sencha Pivot Grid as well as D3 adaptor, which allows developers to create apps with Business Intelligence (BI) for analytics and data visualization. Moreover, the Advanced Charting package and Ext JS Grid interpret and analyze countless records easily.

Pros

  1. It supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and much more.
  2. It supports Cordova/PhoneGap integration for native packaging and API access.
  3. It features a number of built-in native themes for all major platforms.
  4. Its back-end data package functions with different data sources independently. 

Cons

  1. Licensing complexities with the commercial version
  2. Not many choices for themes of the target platforms

 

MonoCross

This is another tool that supports developing cross-platform apps with Microsoft, .NET, C#, as well as the Mono framework. Moreover, developers can also retain the coding of the controller, model and application across multiple platforms along with playing with the view (UI) and the platform container in order to offer a native experience across key platforms. It also makes app porting super easy. Therefore, businesses can cope easily with the rapid changes in various platforms using this tool.

Pro

  1. Using this tool to develop apps, all you need is .NET and C# compatibility. 
  2. It provides support for third-party APIs that goes a long way to reducing the development time because developers usually do not need to struggle with every single intricacy of every platform.
  3. It supports an array of APIs which makes this platform easy to use and take full advantage of. 

Cons

Cross-platform developers, especially beginners, struggle with the platform’s features and usability as limited support resources and documentation are available online for them.

 

Adobe Build

 

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Adobe Build is another cloud-based tool that works with PhoneGap or Cordova. It does the code compilation, helping developers to pursue all their goals as well as expedite delivery and ensure the quality of all the deliverables. Rather than get acquainted with several native software development kits such as iOS SDK, Android SDK, Windows Phone SDK, etc., developers can easily work on any app development project (cross-platform). All they will need is the knowledge of the language or web technologies such as Java, HTML5, and CSS3. 

Pros

  1. It helps with the management of a portfolio of apps through maintenance and quick updates.
  2. Code reusability assists developers in coping with tight deadlines.
  3. Suitable for enterprises and businesses that have strict TTM and are a competition.
  4. Access to native APIs like geolocation, contacts, camera, etc. is made easier with some lines of JavaScript.

Cons

  1. Poor access is a problem with native functionality. Several native APIs lack support when it comes to the APIs of PhoneGap. 
  2. Slow background processing because APIs with JavaScript is not multi-threaded.
  3. Data processing speed is not as efficient with JavaScript as it is with native languages such as Swift.

 

Kony AppPlatform

Kony AppPlatform is a low-code framework of app development, which is the favorite of many businesses who are looking to cope with their ever-growing demand for mobile apps. Developers who are skilled in Javascript can make optimum use of this tool to create cross-platform as well as native apps. The biggest benefit of this platform is that developers can use the drag-and-drop feature from their API libraries or the Kony Marketplace. They can also review the app as well as cross-check the API connectivity. Hence, the framework essentially accelerates the development process significantly.

Pros

  1. It supports an array of back-end systems.
  2. It is packed with pre-built or sample apps to educate developers.
  3. It comes with a strong visualizer that helps in the validation of its powerful APIs of multi-channel JavaScript.

Cons

The support and documentation that is available for this platform online are insufficient as compared to other platforms. 

This tool has pitched itself as an MBaaS or a Mobile Backend as a Service platform. It provides a number of products to the users such as Convertigo Cloud, Convertigo Server, Convertigo Mobilizer, and Convertigo Studio that eases the entire process of app development for businesses.

Pros

  1. Its push notifications function in standby mode.
  2. It favors connectivity through dispersed enterprise data and connectors like web services or SQL databases.
  3. It comes with the Fullsync data replication technology, which assists in building mobile apps with offline mode.
  4. It supports the plugins of Cordova and can also use the features of the device, such as cameras, sensors, GPS, etc.   

Cons

It has three distinct plans, and the free plan only has community support. It does not comprise the platform’s Fullsync offline data support.

Convertigo

This tool has pitched itself as an MBaaS or a Mobile Backend as a Service platform. It provides a number of products to the users such as Convertigo Cloud, Convertigo Server, Convertigo Mobilizer, and Convertigo Studio that eases the entire process of app development for businesses.

Pros

  1. Its push notifications function in standby mode.
  2. It favors connectivity through dispersed enterprise data and connectors like web services or SQL databases.
  3. It comes with the Fullsync data replication technology, which assists in building mobile apps with offline mode.
  4. It supports the plugins of Cordova and can also use the features of the device, such as cameras, sensors, GPS, etc.   

Cons

It has three distinct plans, and the free plan only has community support. It does not comprise the platform’s Fullsync offline data support.

NativeScript

NativeScript is an open-source platform that favors the creation of cross-platform apps using native UI for iOS and Android with TypeScript, JavaScript, or aNGULAR. Developers can easily access native APIs through JavaScript as well as the reuse of packages from CocoaPods, Gradle, and NPM. This creates a feature-rich app, and enhancing the features that already exist becomes a breeze.

Pros

  1. It allows you to use any JavaScript library which does not necessarily rely on the internet.
  2. It has a cross-platform UI support that allows developers to make the UI of an app once and then simply implement it on different platforms.
  3. It offers support to TypeScript and Angular.js 2. 
  4. Apps can use native components as well as have direct access to all the native APIs in addition to full access to all the development libraries.

Cons

A possible problem in NativeScript is multi-threading that might be enhanced in later releases. Furthermore, there is a lack of documentation and in-depth examples of all its features.

 

RhoMobile Suite

This platform is powered by the open-source framework of Rhodes. It is a set of varied development tools that can help in building cross-platform, data-centric enterprise apps along with native user experience. The anatomy of this platform is similar to that of PhoneGap. Moreover, the existing web technologies of this app, such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3, are joined by Ruby. Also, apps that are based on this platform can be compatible with both mobile and non-mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Desktop and Windows CE.

Pros

  1. It supports synchronization into apps and offline data accessibility.
  2. Its automatic data encryption assists businesses in securing their enterprise data so that they can rest easy about BYOD.   
  3. The Object Relational Mapper of this platform allows for automatic synchronization when it comes to back-end data. 

Cons

RhoMobile Suite restricts RFID or Radio-Frequency Identification plugins to Windows CE/Mobile. If it were open-source, its popularity could have been more widespread than what it is now.

Final Words

These were the top 10 mobile app development tools that will do any web developer proud. So, which one are you going to use for your next mobile app development project? If you looking for support with Mobile App Development Contact: WBPRO Mobile Development Experts.